Challenges of Waste

It is almost impossible to calculate the exact amount of waste generated at a global scale by producers and consumers (Dicken, 2011). In this article, it is stated that in 2007, Americans threw out about 570 billion pounds of municipal solid waste.
“We live in a time of throw-away consumerism- a time when companies are producing one time use DVDs so that consumers don’t have to deal with the “hassle” of renting and returning. The waste stream grows in volume and toxicity because corporations continue to profit by producing seemingly useless products, and they are not pressured to prioritize recycling, reuse, or substitute less toxic alternatives in their ingredients.”
Packaging is the largest and most rapidly growing category of solid waste. More than 30% of municipal solid waste is packaging, and 40% of that waste is plastic. The throwaway consumer society is the major source of MSW, the trend is clear that “as countries get richer, the organic share decreases whereas the paper and plastic ones increase” (Dicken, 2011).
The waste industry has become a big business, and governments work with the industry to find places to dispose waste. We are less creative and committed to developing new technologies to reduce waste and devoting resources to these programs.
This article is very interesting since it focuses on the move towards “Zero Waste”, which is reducing the volume and the toxicity of our garbage. Zero Waste is a bold approach to waste management that looks at both the both the front end (production and design) and the back end (reuse and reprocessing) of material flow, and solutions to connect the two. I think this is a big challenge to companies and governments, but definitely a goal we can all benefit from.

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Technological Innovation and Logistics and Distribution Services

Technological developments in transportation and communication have been immensely important in transforming the basic time-space infrastructure of the logistics and distribution industries (Dicken, 2011, p. 405). In the article, I have read that manufacturing and distribution supply chains are focusing on “lean systems of distribution”, which minimizes time and cost involved in moving products between suppliers and customers.

“Tools such as delivery routing and scheduling software, or load consolidation with mode optimization software, can make the transportation process more cost efficient for many shippers”.  Some of the cost-cutting efforts firms are using to increase profits are consolidation of shipments into fewer truckloads as well as cutting back on express shipments.

“Additionally, wireless smart devices can be constantly connected to the company infrastructure. The advent of cloud-based software deployments has made it easier than ever for professionals to securely access the virtual business infrastructure at any time.”

“Social media sites are another way communication can be improved along the entire supply chain. According to Parsons, connecting with suppliers and distributors in real time can help everyone keep updated on the status of shipments. Mobile devices can also be used to log into social media sites for quicker access to these informal communication channels.”

These show that information technology, particularly electronic data interchange, plays a major role in materials management. EDI facilitates the tracking of inputs, allows the firm to optimize its production schedule, lets supplier and firms communicate instantly and eliminates the flow of paperwork between a firm and its suppliers.

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Works cited:

Dicken, P. (2011) Global Shift. New York, London: The Guilford Press

Relative Bargaining Powers of TNCs and States

Dicken talks about relative bargaining powers of TNCs and states that “such relationships revolve around their relative bargaining power: the extent to which each can implement their own preferred strategies” (Dickens 2011 pg. 225). In this he means that the TNCs have a great advantage to peruse a work environment that has a better cost to profit ratio, and the states can create taxes and guidelines that they have to follow. In short both sides can create good and bad scenarios for each other. In the article I have read how Mexico is a prime example of this relationship between TNCs and the State.

“The Mexican results, both the positive (renewed growth, capital inflows, increased and diversified exports, and reduced inflation) and the negative ones (foreign exchange crisis, trade and current account deficits, and weak capital formation), are outcomes directly related to the adoption of neo-liberal policies oriented towards reducing the role of thestate in the economy, Mortimer notes” (Raghavan, 1998).

In the article, Michael Moore, a senior economist at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), analyzed the performance of the automobile and economic sectors. The U.S. automobile TNCs investments have led to Mexican production facilities becoming globally competitive. However, instead of using national suppliers, the production has been reoriented into exports, which eventually affected Mexico’s auto-parts industry.

This shows that Dicken’s statement holds true that TNCs can produce both good and bad results in the host country’s economy.

Works Cited

Dicken, P. (2011) Global Shift. New York, London: The Guilford Press

Raghavan, C. (1998). Globalization’s Political Economy and the Role of the State. Retrieved from


The Effect of Globalization on San Diego Today

In this article, we get a glimpse of the attempts by local companies to keep jobs in the United States and prevent outsourcing. The formation of a new regional business group, the San Diego-based Industry Council for Competitiveness and Globalization or ICCG is a group supported by Washington claiming that America’s manufacturing is still losing jobs at an alarming rate. In the past 7 years we have lost 2.4 million jobs to China.  This article also discusses the amount of jobs lost to China since 2007 from individual states that belong to the U.S. steel industry and its unions.  These teams of researchers are trying to reach out the U.S. policy makers that control the trade subsidies and policies that take place with China. Services have also increasingly been outsourced to nations with lower labor costs. However, these U.S. companies rely on cheap, technical labor in order to remain competitive. The author also talks about the lack of qualified employees that are available in the U.S. despite the high unemployment rate.

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